Rouse Hill High School

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Attendance Matters

“ Every day counts and there is no ‘safe’ threshold for absences”

– Hancock et al., 2013


At Rouse Hill High School, Attendance Matters. 


Attendance has been proven to be one of the most powerful predictors of academic achievement and can have a dramatic impact on key milestones, including 9th grade NAPLAN achievement, high school graduation, and postsecondary persistence. Chronic absenteeism is missing 10% of school (or 18 days), regardless of the reason. This is why the Department of Education has set the target for students to attend school 90% of the time. 


All parents have dreams for their children and want the best for them. At Rouse Hill High School, we are here to support all parents in their children’s learning and attendance. But why does Attendance Matter?

  1. Missing school means missing out! Regular attendance builds lots of other skills, not just learning. Schools help children to develop important social skills, such as friendship building, teamwork, communication, and a healthy self-esteem. 
  2. Its impact is seen in the results. In all analyses, average academic achievement on NAPLAN tests declined as absence rates increased. Attendance contributes positively towards a student’s learning. Absence from school was related to poor academic achievement, not only in the current year but in future years as well. Gaps in student learning from one poor year of attendance have a flow on effect in future years. 
  3. Good attendance helps children do well in school and eventually the workplace. Good attendance matters for school success. By high school, poor attendance is a leading indicator of dropout. Developing the habit of attendance prepares students for success on the job and in life. 
  4. Excused and unexcused absences easily add up to significant time lost in the classroom
    • Students are at risk academically if they miss 10 percent of the school year, or about 18 days. Once too many absences have occurred, they can affect learning, regardless of whether absences are excused or unexcused. 
    • Sporadic, not just consecutive, absences matter. Before you know it, just one or two days a month can add up to nearly 10 percent of the school year. 
    • Avoid unnecessary absences. Some absences are unavoidable - when children are sick they need to stay home. What is important is getting to school as often as possible. 
  5. Chronic absence (missing 10 percent of the school year or more) does not just affect the students who miss school. If too many students are chronically absent, it slows down instruction for other students, who must wait while the teacher repeats material for absentee students. 
  6. We need to monitor how many days each student misses school for any reason — excused, unexcused or suspensions — so we can intervene early. Schools use data to identify how many and which students are chronically absent so they can target extra support that can improve attendance and interrupt a pattern of chronic absence. Absences represent lost opportunities to learn in the classroom and develop social skills.
  7. Chronic absence is a problem we can solve when the community, parents and schools get involved in improving attendance. All of us can make a difference by helping students and families feel engaged in learning. Rouse Hill High School is setting the expectation that school attendance matters and working together to identify and help families overcome barriers of getting to school. 
  8. Relationship building is fundamental to any strategy for improving student attendance. Students are more likely to go to school if they know someone cares whether they show up. Trusting relationships — whether with teachers, mentors, coaches, or other caring adults — are critical to encouraging families and students to seek out help to overcome barriers to attendance.



What are parent/carer responsibilities?


Review the Department of Education publication “Compulsory School Attendance – Information for parents” The key points from this document include:

·         Legal responsibilities for parents/carers

·         What to do if your child has to be away from school

·         Student responsibility to arrive to school on time

·         Parents/carers responsibility in responding to texts and emails in a punctual manner regarding absenteeism and/or lateness to school


The Attendance Matters program involves supporting students whose attendance has fallen below 90% through regular meetings over the course of five weeks. Strategies and SMART goals are established based around the Attendance Matters principles listed below.

1. Attendance Matters - make school attendance a priority. 

  •  Talk about the importance of showing up to school every day so your student knows this is your expectation. Let them know that you believe school is important. 
  • Encourage your student to maintain daily routines, such as finishing homework or getting a good night’s sleep. 
  •  Have a plan for getting your student to school on time.
  • Avoid scheduling non-urgent dental and medical appointments when classes are in session. Plan family vacations during school holidays. 

2.    Communication Matters - Rouse Hill High School is here to help your student achieve 

  • Let the Admin Office know reasons why your student is unable to attend or is late. This can be done by replying to the SMS sent or sending a letter with your student the next day they are in school. 
  • Check on your student’s attendance on the Millennium Portal to check on their attendance statistics. This will also be sent in Academic Reports. 
  • Ask for help from the school if you’re having trouble getting your student to school

3.    You Matter - staying healthy and engaged is essential to succeed in attendance and achievement 

  • It is important to make sure students are healthy when they attend school. Contact the Admin Office to see if it is safe or not safe to send your student to school. 
  • If your student is finding school difficult, work with us to find a solution.
  • Check the weekly Google Classroom report to ensure your student is up to date with all their classroom activities.

Even as students grow older and more independent, families play a key role in making sure students participate or get to school safely every day. Through our Attendance Matters program, we are excited to help students and families promote the importance of Attendance for all.